TCT Magazine – 3D-printed electronics leader, Nano Dimension has outlined its intentions to create a platform for 3D bio-printing of cells and connective tissues to form biological structures that function as human kidneys.
The Israel-based company is looking to enter this new sector after conducting market research into applications of its technology to the field of 3D bio-printing. Nano Dimension has decided to focus primarily on solutions for end stage renal disease (ESRD), which leads to kidney failure.
Explaining Nano Dimension’s foray into the emerging market of bio-printing, Amit Dror, the company’s CEO, considers the technology and knowledge of nano-chemistry at Nano Dimension’s disposal can be of great help to the medical sector.
“We believe that our high-end 3D printing capabilities, together with our expertise in nano-chemistry and advanced materials, provide significant added value to the promising field of bio-printing,” said Dror. “We look forward to bringing our know how and IP in multi-material 3D printing, and integrating it into the emerging world of 3D bio-printing. We believe that a bio-printing platform with these advantages has the potential to enable the creation of very complex biological structures.”
Nano Dimension intends to advance its 3D bio-printing initiative through a new subsidiary. Focusing solely on 3D bio-printing this new subsidiary will seek separate funding, distinct from Nano Dimension’s continuing activity and focus in the printed electronics field. The company is set to announce more information on the subsidiary in the coming months.
As per the United States Renal Data System, Medicare fees for ESRD services in the US reached $32.8 billion, a rise of 3.3% between 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, the US is undergoing somewhat of a crisis as its healthcare system fails to cater for the demand of kidney transplants. The US Department of Health and Human Services has reported that the US kidney transplant waiting list continues to grow and currently has approximately 98,000 candidates. Only 19,000 kidney transplants were performed in 2016. Accordingly, the active waiting list is more than five times greater than the number of available kidney donors. Additionally, the average cost of kidney transplantation is around $334,000 according to a Milliman research report published in December 2014.
Though existing solutions for tissue printing have experienced difficulty in creating tissues that mimic complex kidney functionality, Nano Dimension is confident it can offer new insight. The company previously demonstrated a successful proof of concept by 3D bio-printing tissue with stem cells, and has filed a patent application for its bio-printing technology.
Image citation: Nano Dimension